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Tuesday, January 19 2021 @ 09:33 am ACDT

Demetriou flags expanded international profile for the AFL

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Australian Football League boss Andrew Demetriou is scheduled to fly to Dubai in May in an attempt to secure a pre-season match in the United Arab Emirates for early 2007. Collingwood versus Adelaide was mooted for earlier this year (see AFL eyes several international games in 2005/06) but it fell through. With a large itinerant population it's unlikely Aussie Rules will develop at grass-roots level any time soon in the region, with the current plans more likely to revolve around sponsorship dollars, with major internationals such as the Magpies' sponsor Emirates Airlines based there.

In an article in The Age by Caroline Wilson it was reported that "an AFL representation, to include football operations manager Adrian Anderson and projects officer Dean Moore, will also meet an Irish delegation in Dubai to shape the future of the international rules series and decide whether the Australia-Ireland Tests will be cut back to every two years."

Encouragingly Demetriou was quoted as saying that the AFL was keen to expand its international profile. "Over the next few years we plan to hold more international games as exhibitions and pre-season clashes," said Demetriou. "We're planning a game in South Africa in the near future. The Sydney-Kangaroos game in Los Angeles was a key feature of Australia Week over there."

The article also discusses further Melbourne City Council's and Melbourne Football Club's plans for developing business and football ties in China. The Demons are one of several Victorian clubs that still struggle to be profitable in an otherwise buoyant AFL system and securing market share in the world's most populous country could just be what ensures the club's future.

The full article is AFL bid to push game in the Gulf.

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